07 December 2011

The Dark of December

Fuchsia in bloom, Magdalena, NM, Dec. 2011

I posted this poem about a year ago, and it bears repeating as we in the Northern Hemisphere slump toward the darkest day of the year.

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

"We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,"
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.

-Oliver Herford

We do get "real winter" here in New Mexico, USA, but thankfully we also get a lot of sun, which I can enjoy all winter thanks to two large south-facing sliding glass doors. Last year I packed trays of greens and then seed starts onto open shelves in these sunny spaces, a successful endeavor I plan to repeat along with overwintering some tender perennials I can't bear to leave to the elements. Fuchsias have always been among my favorite plants. They're a bit temperamental -- they need conditions that are not too hot, not too cold, not too sunny, not too dim -- but I persist in growing them and did quite well with this plant on the shady front porch this summer.

As cold weather descended, I decided to see if it could overwinter inside, and so far, so good. I took these shots with my 35mm f1.8 lens, which is getting a lot of use these days because I'm snowed in and bored almost to tears because, really, I'm not much of a homebody. I want to be outside. All the time, or close to it, or at least by an open window. I did make it outside for a while yesterday to sweep and shovel snow, dust off and bring in wood for the fireplace, and play with Maggie and the dogs just before the sunset, which probably kept me from losing my marbles altogether.

We are nearer to spring....

Fuchsia buds, Magdalena, NM, Dec. 2011

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